ACT Policing and Crime Stoppers ACT are gearing up for a national phone-in day on Friday November 19, as part of a nationwide offensive – codenamed Operation Unification – against amphetamine production and distribution.
The national Crime Stoppers campaign kicks off today (Monday, November 8 ) as the lead-up to “Say Something Day” on November 19 when everyone in the community is encouraged to speak up if they have information relating to the production and distribution of amphetamines.
While the focus of this campaign will be on amphetamines and amphetamine production, ACT Policing (ACTP) would urge the community to contact Crime Stoppers with information on any illicit drug-related activity.
Focused national efforts such as this operation, using the Crime Stoppers information-gathering capability, helps increase police intelligence on organised crime groups and can help lead to arrests.
ACT Policing has had a productive partnership with Crime Stoppers for almost two decades. During this time there have been a number of significant arrests and seizures of property and drugs. This has occurred due to information received from members of the public calling Crime Stoppers.
In the past financial year alone (2009-2010), Crime Stoppers ACT received 5162 calls and 640 web-based reports. Of these, 1195 were converted to information reports. As a result of these reports, information was provided to assist in the apprehension of 35 people with a total of 97 charges.
Anyone who has information about illicit drug activity is urged to call the Crime Stoppers toll-free hotline on 1800 333 000 and talk to police in confidence.
Crime Stoppers and police would encourage members of the public to take an active role on November 19 in making our community safe. Illicit drugs are a major problem for all communities and cause major social problems, resulting in significant social costs.
Current Australian Crime Commission data places the cost of illicit drugs at over $10 billion annually in social costs. This includes the cost of hospitalisation, rehabilitation, violence, death, injury on the roads and lost days at work.
Added to this is the actual cost of the illicit drugs themselves. Around 45 per cent of illicit drug users admit to being involved in criminal behaviour to feed their habit.
Although a clandestine laboratory for the manufacture of illicit drugs has not been detected in the ACT since 2007, recent reports indicate that the number of clandestine laboratories across the country is increasing.
The Crime Stoppers hotline provides a mechanism for the public to confidentially help police attack the organised manufacture and distribution of illicit drugs and really make a difference.
Some of the “telltale” signs which may indicate a home or commercial premises is being used for illicit drug production are:
• Drawn curtains and/or shielded windows during daylight hours;
• Persons carrying laboratory glassware into the premises;
• Extensive and excessive security systems;
• Frequent visitors to premises who only stay for short periods of time;
• Persistent chemical smells;
• Chemical/fertiliser/empty pill/capsule containers in rubbish;
• Pool-cleaning equipment around a house with no swimming pool;
• Excessive chemical containers for premises;
• Suspicious run-offs into drains.
People can still call Crime Stoppers on the phone-in day with information on any other criminal matters or suspicious behaviour, or make a report via the website at www.act.crimestoppers.com.au.
ACT Policing has seized two cars and will summons two drivers for illegal street racing after an incident in Belconnen late last night (November 6).
Around 11.30pm last night, officers in an unmarked police vehicle were patrolling in Belconnen when they observed a red Holden utility and a green Nissan 200SX stopped at the intersection of Luxton Street and Coulter Drive.
When the traffic light turned to green, police will allege the two vehicles accelerated rapidly westbound into Southern Cross Drive, reaching speeds of over 110km/h in an 80km/h zone. One vehicle was seen to cut dangerously in front of the other until police stopped both vehicles near Chewings Street in Page.
The driver of the Holden was identified as a 25-year-old male, while the Nissan was driven by a 21-year-old female. Both drivers admitted to racing each other.
Both drivers were subjected to a roadside screening test for alcohol. The 21-year-old female driver, who is a provisional licence holder, later returned a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.123, which is more than six times her permitted level. She will be summonsed on a drink-driving charge.
As empowered under the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999, police seized and impounded both vehicles. Under Section 5 of the Act, police may hold the vehicles until legal proceedings are finalised or, if ordered by the Court, for up to 90 days.
ACT Policing is joining forces with the ACT & Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry and ACT CrimeStoppers in a crime prevention program called BizSafe.
BizSafe aims to diminish the risk of crime against businesses in the ACT by providing information about the types and prevalence of crime specific to that business type and area, provide the knowledge and skills to assess the risks, and implement the most appropriate strategies.
The BizSafe program was first introduced in the ACT in 2008 and was adopted from the Western Australia initiative. The success of this initiative has seen a large number of other jurisdictions across Australia embrace the program.
ACT Policing, in conjunction with its supporting partners, has reinvigorated the content and design of the program, and for the first time incorporated an online version which will be made available via ACT Policing’s website.
The enhanced BizSafe program follows on from the recent “Eyes on the Street” programs, in which businesses, ACTP’s Crime Prevention team and other major stakeholders share information and awareness to minimise suspected criminal activity.
Superintendent Kylie Flower, from ACT Policing’s Crime Prevention team, said the online enhancement of the BizSafe package provided more access, more readily for all key stakeholders. The package provides advice on such diverse topics as Citizen’s Arrest powers, preventing shoplifting, and fraud.
“Information can be a powerful tool in the right hands. The BizSafe fact sheets provide valuable information to assist businesses, which may assist to reduce their exposure to crime,” Supt Flower said.